Unborn baby who had surgery INSIDE the womb to remove orange-sized tumor is recovering well now! Unborn baby who had surgery INSIDE the womb to remove orange-sized tumor is recovering well now!
This baby is a miracle—even the doctors think so. After discovering a life-threatening tumor in an ultrasound, his parents decided they had to take... Unborn baby who had surgery INSIDE the womb to remove orange-sized tumor is recovering well now!

This baby is a miracle—even the doctors think so. After discovering a life-threatening tumor in an ultrasound, his parents decided they had to take action to save his life before he was even born!

April and Jason Leffingwell were looking forward with anticipation to the birth of their second child. April’s first pregnancy had gone without a hitch, so the couple was not expecting anything untoward with their second.

At a routine 20-week ultrasound, April was horrified to discover that their unborn baby, whom they called Elijah, had a massive lung tumor. This tumor was preventing the lungs from developing, and was crushing the heart. Her son would most certainly die. So the couple researched, looking for answers, and looked at fetal surgery.

surgery

There wasn’t a choice in our head,” said April. “We weren’t going to abort, and we weren’t going to let a tumor kill our child. We were going to do everything we could to save our child.”

The couple decided on the surgery, as they couldn’t just let him die, so they went to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)—the forefront of fetal surgery. Doctors at CHOP were concerned Elijah might not be able to pull through the surgery, but the parents decided it was their only option.

surgery0

The tumor in the baby’s lung was rapidly increasing and was three-and-a-half times as big as his head. Doctors said that he had only a 50 percent chance of survival.

“[The] idea arose from the frustration of caring for babies after birth and realizing it’s too late: The damage had already been done,” said Dr. Adzick, a pioneer of fetal surgery. “We had to get to the baby earlier, while still inside mom.”

The day before the operation in September 2012, April was at peace, she knew God had a plan, and everything would be okay.

surgery1

The doctors operated and removed the huge tumor through April’s abdominal wall, partially removing Elijah from the womb. Elijah’s diaphragm was perforated, and his lung collapsed. His little heart stopped beating, and doctors had to massage it to restart it. Doctors saved him, and he was placed back in April’s womb. He was just 25 weeks old.

“He would have died,” says Dr. Adzick. “No question. He would have died if the operation were not done before birth.”

Seven weeks before the due date, the little battler was born at 33 weeks. He had sustained injuries from the operation and was put into intensive care, where he was hooked up to machines to help him breathe and sustain life.

surgery2

For weeks, Jason sat by his son’s bedside, reading stories to him, especially the one “David and Goliath.” Elijah would sleep peacefully at the sound of his voice. Over the coming months, he had to learn how to swallow, as his swallow reflex had been affected. But gradually he has improved, and he’s now able to eat small portions.

surgery3

“He might not be able to play contact sports,” Jason says of Elijah’s future. “But who cares? Maybe he’ll be a musician. There’s other things in life he can do. Those are things I’ll be able to take pride in as a dad. I look forward to what Elijah will be able to do. Because he’s here for a purpose. For him to go through everything he has gone through, it isn’t for nothing.”

surgery4

Doctors have been blown away at Elijah’s progress. “The baby is a miracle,” said Dr. Scott.

surgery5

Today, the miracle child has grown to really enjoy food, although helpings are still very small.

surgery6

You can’t help wondering if Elijah has some memory of what he has endured in his short life.

Elijah had a very difficult entry to the world, but his family is very grateful to have their son. Without intervention, he would not have made it

surgery7

Watch the video below!

Obinna Onyia

  • Sarah

    2017-07-31 #1 Author

    What a miracle.. I had no idea that fetal surgery was possible. God is good .

    Reply

  • Shakima Tyrell

    2017-07-31 #2 Author

    Anything is possible with our Lord savior by our side. He is a miracle and he is real….trust in him

    Reply

  • Jessica w

    2017-07-31 #3 Author

    That’s sad..hopefully things will get better

    Reply

  • Zana Santos

    2017-08-01 #4 Author

    God bless this beautiful baby 😇

    Reply

  • Charmaine

    2017-08-01 #5 Author

    So sad 😔 hopefully everything works out well for this family hes truly a fighter

    Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *